About greg

Just another bozo on the bus.

long day

I’ll have to set an alarm tomorrow morning. It’s been a long, long times since I’ve set an alarm in the morning. Probably for 0500 hours, so I can wake up, check the perimeter with the cat, make coffee, get dressed, prepare food for the day, cosset the cat some, and get to the Lutheran church that’s my assigned polling station by 0600.

I’ll be there all day, setting up the polling station, checking in voters, registering new voters, handing out ballots. All day, until the polls close at 2100. Then maybe another hour breaking down the polling station.

I volunteered to be an election worker this year because of the pandemic. A lot of the usual election workers — mostly elderly women — opted not to work the polls out of a reasonable concern of contracting Covid-19. I live in Iowa, a state with a Republican governor who has faithfully followed the Trump path of Covid-denial. She has refused to issue a statewide mask mandate, she has insisted schools reopen in person, she has been inconsistent in her approach to closing/opening small businesses, and she has been accused of misusing US$21 million of federal pandemic relief funding to buy executive branch software. Despite the fact that Iowa has frequently ranked in the top ten states with the highest Covid positive testing rates (today the positivity rate is 13.4%), the governor has said, “We have to learn to live with it [Covid-19] and we have to do it in a safe and responsible manner.”

That casually negligent approach is reflected in the way we’ll handle the election. The state will provide election workers with masks, hand sanitizer, and alcohol wipes. Maybe gloves, maybe face shields. We’ll be given tape to make social distance markers for voters. That’s it for Covid precautions. There’ll be no plexiglass screens between election workers and voters. Voters will NOT be required to wear masks.

Happily, we’ve seen a LOT of early voting, which may alleviate the number of in-person voters tomorrow. Many (maybe most) early voters will have been Democrats; Trump has stressed that he wants his supporters to vote on Election Day. Those Republican voters will likely be the ones without masks.

The polls open at 0700 and remain open until 2100. Fourteen hours. Sixteen hours, including set-up and break-down. In a closed environment (probably with an old ventilation system). Face to face with strangers. Without a mask mandate.

Some election workers will almost certainly contract Covid-19.

I don’t expect any other trouble tomorrow. Although Iowa is a toss-up state, with an almost equal number of Biden and Trump supporters, we’re not likely to see the sort of aggressive voter intimidation and suppression tactics taking place in some states. We have our share of gun nuts, rabid right-wing conservatives, and wanna-be ‘freedom fighters’ but so far they haven’t been showing up at polling places armed with semi-automatic rifles.

That said, it’s a shameful comment on the current state of the nation that an election worker is grateful that armed self-appointed political gangs probably won’t be intruding on the electoral process. Four years ago, the very idea that something like that might happen was almost unimaginable; now we’re grateful that it’s not happening at our particular polling site.

After the election, I’ll be isolating myself for at least ten days. Today I’ll be going geocaching with my brother. Today I’ll be spending as much time outside as the weather will allow. Today I’ll have fun and not give much thought to the election. Because tomorrow will be a long day.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day. I’m not looking forward to it. I’d much prefer to be home, spending time with people I care about and a narcissistic cat. It’ll be a long day, but giving up sixteen hours is really a rather small contribution to the democratic process. A long day is a very, very small sacrifice. It’ll be a long day, but I think it’ll be worthwhile.

Tomorrow is going to be a long day for everybody, and we know more long days will follow it. It’s to be hoped there will be only another 70 or so long days until Comrade Trump is out of office. Otherwise, I despair for the future of the United States.

trump and getting to heaven

I hear this a lot. I mean, really a lot. “I really don’t understand this thing Christians have for Donald Trump. How can they support this guy? It doesn’t make sense.”

The thing is, it sorta kinda does make sense. At least it makes a sort of sense for a couple of different kinds of Christians. The thing is, when most of us think of Christians we think of folks who are trying to live by the principles laid down by Jesus. You know, love one another, judge not, forgive others who have wronged you, the truth shall set you free, the meek shall inherit, all that. Those Christians would have a really hard time supporting a sociopathic serial liar like Donald Trump.

But there are a lot of other sorts of Christians who have different priorities, and those priorities make it possible — even necessary — for them to support a guy like Trump. For example, abortion absolutists. If the main (or only) issue you’re concerned about is overturning Roe v. Wade, then Comrade Trump is your guy. He’s said many times he’ll only nominate appellate court judges who are opposed to Roe, so there’s that.

Worst petting zoo ever.

Personally, I don’t think Donald Trump cares about abortion one way or another. I’d be willing to bet my paycheck (if I had a paycheck) that he’s coughed up some coin to put an end to more than a few unwelcome pregnancies. But if ending abortion gets him applause and support (and money), then he’ll be willing to say he’s against abortion. It’s not religious or philosophical for him; it’s transactional. Still, these Christians will pray for him.

There’s another reason some Christians support Trump. They believe the End Times are just around the corner and it’s time to start making plans for The Rapture. Just a week ago, Pat Robertson, the televangelist, revealed to his audience that god told him “Donald Trump will be reelected…and his reelection will bring about start of the End Times.” These Christians see that as good news. They believe a whole bunch of stuff has to happen before Jesus returns and kicks Evil to the curb. First up, dead true believers will be resurrected, then the living true believers and the resurrected dead will rise up bodily to the clouds to meet god and Jesus. While all this cloud-based business is happening, everything on Earth is going Oh Shit. We’re talking war and calamities and all manner of horrible stuff. Then after a period of time, everybody who was raptured away will get to return to Earth like Jesus’ sidekicks and destroy Evil. I may have gotten some that wrong, and the chronology might be a tad off. But there are a LOT of different interpretations about what’s supposed to happen…but my point, if you can call it that, is that IF you believe somebody like Trump is necessary in order to get to that returning-with-Jesus-to-kick-Evil’s-ass moment, then you’d be all ‘Yay, Trump!’

Farmers and shepherds getting raptured away, and sinners getting stuck with the resulting mess.

So there you go. That’s why some Christians continue to support Comrade Trump. They’re either all about the fetus or they’re working on an appointment with Jesus in the clouds. Or else they’re just racist, women-hating assholes who call themselves Christians.

The thing is, these Christians may not give a rat’s ass about you or your values or your beliefs, but they vote. And they’ll vote for Trump. So unless you want to see forced pregnancies and/or everything on Earth going Oh Shit while some Christians have tea with Jesus in the clouds, you need to vote too.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a Christian, though I was raised as a sort of half-assed Southern Baptist with a little Lutheran side-eye. Just so you know.

70+ days of shit to clean up

Let’s be wildly optimistic for a bit. Let’s assume Comrade Trump is soundly defeated in five days. Let’s also assume he calmly accepts the results of the election (hey, I did say ‘wildly optimistic’). That still gives him 70-plus days to fuck up the United States. It’s a lot easier to assume he’ll do some revenge-fucking than to assume he’ll quietly accept defeat. He will leave a LOT of shit for other folks to clean up.

I’m just guessing here, of course, but I suspect one of the things he’ll do is ruthlessly enforce the executive order he signed last week. This was a singularly nasty bit of work designed to make it easier for a president to fire career civil servants. To Trump, career federal employees are part of some faceless Deep State whose purpose, he believes, is to interfere with whatever he wants to do. In fact, that Deep State are the two million men and women who work in federal government turning presidential wants and wishes into formal policies that conform to the law, then implementing those policies. For example, when Trump says or tweets he wants to cancel the order for a new Air Force One (which he did), the Deep State career civil servants immediately begin the complex process of canceling an Air Force procurement order. Because that IS a complex process and can’t be done overnight, Trump complains the Deep State is thwarting him. Never mind that Trump changed his mind about canceling the order, he just hates being thwarted.

“You get fired, and you get fired, and you too, everybody gets fired.”

So I suspect there’s a good chance Trump will do some vengeance-thwarting on those thwarters. There’s a good chance he’ll fire more than a bunch of anonymous career professionals; he’ll very likely fire the heads of agencies he feels weren’t sufficiently loyal. FBI Director Christopher Wray, for example. And CIA head, Gina Aspel. Anthony Fauci will be toast. Probably a few more.

There will likely be a massive destruction of official records in the 72 days between the election and the inauguration of President Biden. Yeah, that’s illegal, but Trump and his people have shrugged off other obviously illegal behaviors. Like using Air Force One or the White House for political events without paying for them out of campaign funds. We’ve seen them refuse to honor legal subpoenas, we’ve seen them use WhatsApp to dodge leaving an official record, we’ve seen them insist Trump’s tweets are official records and thereby subject to the Presidential Records Act (also insist they’re just Trump’s personal opinions, so NOT subject to the Presidential Records Act). We’ve seen them normalize illegal acts and not be held accountable for them, so it’s not a big stretch to assume they’ll engage in an orgy of document destruction and erasure.

“But me, I’ll get pardoned. By the greatest and most unappreciated president ever. ME!”

Finally, most of us probably expect a tsunami of presidential pardons. He’ll likely pardon everybody involved in the Russia investigation, and all his cronies and financial contributors, and all of his kids, maybe his wife, and he’ll probably try to pardon himself. Of course, he can only pardon people for federal crimes; there can still be state investigations and prosecutions.

But assuming a Biden win, we can expect a whole lot of ugly to follow. There will be a LOT of shit to clean up. Let’s face it, Trump, his family, and his supporters — they’re the types of folks who’ll take a dump in the toilet and let the incoming administration discover and flush it.

reading the comments

A friend sent me a message this morning:

Read something about Trump and the Sup.Ct last night and made the mistake of reading the comments and couldn’t get to sleep for longest time. People are so hateful. Didnt you write something recently about not reading the comments.

My first thought was How am I supposed to remember stuff I might have written? I mean, I write a lot of crap every day. Sometimes several times a day. Much of what I write on social media is off the cuff and barely thought out. On the other hand, I’m one of those putzes who almost always reads the comments. So yeah, I probably did. It sounds like something I’d write.

My second thought was Dude, there’s a search function on the blog, why don’t you use it? And then I thought Why don’t I use it? So I used it. And hey, whaddayaknow? Turns out I wrote two things about the comments. Neither of them was recent, but still.

The most recent was in April of 2017. I’d written a thing about the Fearless Girl sculpture on Wall Street. It was the only thing I’ve ever written that actually went viral. It got a shit ton of comments, so I wrote about the comments. Not exactly about the comments, but about the fact that ordinary people were arguing and debating works of art. Which I think is really a pretty cool thing for ordinary people to do.

The living embodiment of the Comments section.

The other thing I wrote was almost exactly four years ago — October of 2016. And it was weirdly appropriate. It was about the reasons people give for NOT reading the comments. And it was also about Comrade Trump and his supporters. Here’s the last line of the post:

Donald J. Trump, his campaign, and his supporters are the living embodiment of the comments.

That’s a pretty good line. Still true.

insult politics

At some point today or tomorrow Amy Coney Barrett will be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Has she earned that seat? I don’t know, probably not–or at least not yet–but it doesn’t matter; it’ll be given to her anyway. Is she qualified? I don’t know, maybe, but it doesn’t matter; it’ll be given to her anyway. Do the American people support her? Some do, some don’t, and it doesn’t matter; it’ll be given to her anyway. At some point today or tomorrow Amy Coney Barrett will be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

It will be given to her in the same way SCOTUS seats were given to Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. It will be given to her as a display of raw political power. It will be given to her as an expression of the modern Republican Party’s sneering disregard to representative democracy. It will be given to her as a demonstration that Republicans in the Senate can do whatever they want and Democrats are helpless to stop them. It’s the legislative equivalent of the Trumpist slogan Fuck your feelings.

It’s hateful aggressive bullying, plain and simple. It’s the same thing Trump supporters are doing all across the nation. It’s deliberately coughing in the face of a person wearing a mask. It’s driving trucks decked with Trump flags and signs through a BLM demonstration, honking horns and shooting people with paint guns. It’s purposely mispronouncing Kamala’s name. It’s openly carrying semi-auto rifles into the coffee shop, into the supermarket, into the state capitol building. It’s a flag saying ‘Make Liberals Cry’. It’s blocking access to ballot boxes and harassing voters. It’s calling the police to report a black person for being a black person doing what a white person can do. It’s a t-shirt that says ‘Free Michigan, Fuck Whitmer’.

Modern Republicans didn’t invent insult politics. They’ve been around for centuries. It’s been written that the Roman emperor Caligula planned to appoint his favorite horse, Incitatus, a consul of Rome–the highest elected or appointed office in the Roman Republic. It didn’t happen, but it’s a classic example of insult politics.

I’m not comparing Amy Coney Barrett to a horse. Unlike Incitatus, Barrett may, in fact, be qualified to sit on a high court bench. Even the Supreme Court. It doesn’t matter, because she’s not being given the seat because she’s the best candidate to fill it. Republicans could have chosen any of dozens of interchangeable, reliably conservative judges who’d vote the way they expect her to vote. They chose her because she’s a Catholic woman, and would give them a chance to accuse Democrats of being against religion and women. They chose her because it’s easier to bully somebody when you think they can’t or won’t fight back.

Giving a SCOTUS seat to Amy Coney Barrett is a deliberate insult. It’s a general insult to democracy, and a very specific, intentional slap in the face to Democrats. Giving her a seat is an insult to the Supreme Court. It could be said it’s an insult to Amy Coney Barrett herself, because it’s entirely possible she could have earned a spot on the Supreme Court. (The same is true of Gorsuch, who might have earned a seat; it’s not true of Kavanaugh, who lacked the temperament and probity to occupy a SCOTUS seat.)

The fact that Barrett is willing to accept a seat on the Supreme Court as a gift is, sadly, telling. It meant she didn’t have to answer any tough, important questions during her confirmation hearing. Does a president have the power to delay an election? The US Constitution offers a clear answer: no. Elections are held “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November.” But Barrett declined to give an answer, because it didn’t matter; she was to be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. Should a president commit to the peaceful transfer of power? The answer is obvious: yes. But Barrett declined to give an answer, because it didn’t matter; she was to be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

My objection to Amy Coney Barrett isn’t grounded in her politics. Well, not entirely. My objection is the rank hypocrisy of Senate Republicans and their disregard for the process of democracy. They could have waited to give her the seat until after the election. They could have waited for the American people to speak their minds through their votes. They could have chosen NOT to just giver her a seat on the Supreme Court. But no. They could have acted decently and honorably. But no. They did what they wanted because they knew nobody could stop them, because they had the power to impose their will on American society.

That’s all there is to it. At some point today or tomorrow Amy Coney Barrett will be given a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States as a testament to the conservative commitment of pissing off Democrats.

i stand with oreo-eating lesbians

I’m not what you’d call an Oreo cookie fan. As commercial cookies go, they’re okay. I buy Oreos maybe once or twice a year. I’ll be noodling through the market and I’ll see a display of some new ‘Limited Edition’ flavor of Oreo. Lemon Meringue Oreos, Red Velvet Oreos, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oreos, Tiramisu Oreos, Carrot Cake Oreos, Mint Oreos. And I’ll say to myself, “What the hell is that about?” and buy a package. Because why the hell not?

Today, I’ll go buy some Oreos deliberately. Well, maybe not today. I mean, it’s Saturday and the market will probably be busy. I prefer to do my grocery shopping during the week, when all the decent employed people are at work. So let’s say Monday. On Monday I’ll go buy some Oreos. Rainbow Oreos, if they have them. Why?

Because of OneMillionMoms (which I’m just going to call OMM because it’s easier). OMM is a division of the American Family Association, which describes itself as “a Christian organization promoting the biblical ethic of decency in American society with primary emphasis on television and other media.” OMM says its goal is “to stop the exploitation of our children, especially by the entertainment media (TV, music, movies, etc.).”

Let me just say upfront that I wasn’t entirely sure what a ‘biblical ethic of decency’ means. So I Googled it and was directed to a Bible verse. Matthew 22:39, which I also Googled. It’s about the second of two commandments on which ‘hang all the law and the prophets’. The first is about loving god. Here’s the second (in the King James version, which I think rumbles so much better than any of the newer versions):

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

That seems like a pretty solid foundation for decency. But what does that have to do with Oreo cookies? OMM and AFA are organizing a boycott of Oreos cookies because the company that makes them are “attempting to normalize the LGBTQ lifestyle.” How? By “using their commercials, such as the most recent Oreo ad featuring a lesbian couple, to brainwash children and adults alike by desensitizing audiences.”

I don’t watch much commercial television, so I was completely unfamiliar with an advert that featured Oreo-loving lesbians. But my interest was definitely piqued. This is how OMM describes the advert:

The ad has a daughter going home to see her family and brings her lesbian lover with her. The commercial focuses on the mother approving of her daughter’s girlfriend, but the father is hesitant and has reservations. He later has a change of heart and even displays his acceptance of her lifestyle by painting his picket fence in rainbow colors to further show his approval. The advertisement ends with: “A loving world starts with a loving home.”

Well, that sounded okay to me. I mean, it’s all about family and acceptance and a loving home, right? But according to OMM, “It is obvious they are going after our children.” So I figured I should probably track down the actual advert and watch it. I didn’t want to unfairly decide that OneMillionMoms were homophobic assholes without seeing the advert. Besides, I figured Oreo-loving lesbians would be good television.

Here’s the actual brainwashing commercial:

I didn’t see any children in the commercial. I barely saw any Oreos. I guess we’re supposed to assume the Oreo-based brainwashing took place prior to the events in the advert. I guess we’re supposed to be interpreting the relationship between the two young women and the parents as some form of post-Oreo trauma. It’s not clear.

What IS clear, though, is OMM’s belief that LGBTQ people are somehow fundamentally wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated. Their point seems to be that parents shouldn’t accept their LBGTQ children, even if the children are young adults who are making an effort to be accepted. Their point seems to be that buying Oreo cookies is putting children and young adults at risk of…of being accepted? At risk of being loved by their parents?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing something. But this isn’t the first time right-wing Christians have boycotted Oreos. I wrote about this almost exactly eight years ago, during the Great Hydrox Cookie Rebellion of 2012, when right-wing Christian groups tried to bring Oreo to its metaphorical knees by boycotting their cookies.

In their defense, if we’d listened to right-wing Christian groups back in 2012, we wouldn’t be subjects to Maple Creme Oreos. Or Gingerbread Oreos. Or Pumpkin Spice Oreos (which I’m inclined to agree is an abomination in the eyes of the gods).

I’m not convinced that buying Oreos as an expression of LGBTQ support is any less stupid than refusing to buy them as a form of homphobia. But I’m going to buy them anyway. I’m okay with being stupid in a good cause. And I firmly believe that being stupid WITH cookies is better than being stupid WITHOUT cookies. Even if they’re store-bought corporate cookies like Oreos.

I’m here to say I’ll even eat a goddamn Pumpkin Spice Oreo in support of any parent who loves their child without reservation, who believes a loving world begins with a loving home. I stand with Oreo-eating lesbians. And their parents.

julienne politics

Right, that’s done then. The final debate. I watched it. I didn’t learn anything new (and didn’t expect to). I knew it wasn’t going to change my vote (partly because I’ve already voted and partly because there are only two candidates and one of them is an ignorant misogynistic Russian intelligence asset, which makes the choice pretty easy). I guess I watched it out of a sense of social obligation. One of these elderly white guys is going to be running the nation; I should do them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say.

These aren’t real debates, of course. They’re what we’ve settled for in the US because viewers don’t have the patience for an actual debate. And let’s face it, candidates are too afraid of making a mistake to engage in a real exchange of ideas, so what we end up with instead is political marketing.

That’s not entirely a bad thing. The whole idea of marketing is to get people interested enough in something — a product or a service or a candidate — to make some sort of financial or emotional investment in it. To buy it. Or support it.

During the ‘debate’ last night, Uncle Joe Biden, the career public servant, occasionally turned to the camera and directly addressed the voters at home. He promoted his Prez-o-matic, telling folks it would make them safer, keep them warmer, heal their wounds, clear the air, and create mounds of julienne fries in just seconds. On the other hand, Comrade Trump, the businessman, the self-proclaimed marketing genius, never addressed the voters directly. He spent the evening either telling the moderator that his Trumpco Dicer was the best kitchen tool ever invented until China broke it or claiming Biden’s Prez-o-matic made black people sick.

To her credit, Kristen Welker, the moderator, gave both candidates the chance to do some direct marketing with her final question of the night. “Imagine this is your inauguration day. What will you say in your address, to Americans who did not vote for you?” This is what Trump would say to people who didn’t vote for him:

“We have to make our country totally successful, as it was prior to the plague coming in from China…. We had the best Black unemployment numbers in the history of our country. Hispanic, women, Asian, people with diplomas, with no diplomas, MIT graduates; number one in the class, everybody had the best numbers…. Success is going to bring us together. We are on the road to success. But I’m cutting taxes, and he wants to raise everybody’s taxes and he wants to put new regulations on everything. He will kill it. If he gets in, you will have a Depression, the likes of which you’ve never seen. Your 401(k)s will go to hell, and it’ll be a very, very sad day for this country.”

Here’s what Biden would say to people who didn’t vote for him:

“I’m an American President. I represent all of you, whether you voted for me or against me, and I’m going to make sure that you’re represented. I’m going to give you hope. We’re going to move; we’re going to choose science over fiction. We’re going to choose hope over fear. We’re going to choose to move forward because we have enormous opportunities, enormous opportunities to make things better…. I’m going to say, as I said at the beginning, what is on the ballot here is the character of this country. Decency, honor, respect. Treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance. And I’m going to make sure you get that.”

In a normal election cycle, the contest would come down to a simple question: If you were shopping for a kitchen tool, who would you buy it from? Who would you trust to provide you with a reliable, fully functional, ergonomic, easy-to-use, dishwasher safe utensil? Which product do you want on your kitchen counter — the Trumpco Dicer or the Biden Prez-o-matic?

But this is not a normal election. In this election the makers of the Trumpco Dicer are promoting a broken product. In a way, it doesn’t matter whether or not China broke it; they haven’t repaired it. In addition, they’ve spent their advertising money on fast food and trucknuts, so they’re broke; they can’t produce many product commercials. Instead of promoting the Trumpco Dicer, they’re trying to make it more difficult for you to buy a Biden Prez-o-matic.

It’s lousy marketing of a lousy product.

not even a dog

Yesterday on Facebook I responded to a post by one of my senators (Charles Grassley, who at one time was a principled conservative but has devolved into a hypocritical party hack) who chastized “Democrats & liberals in the press” for not giving enough attention to the Hunter Biden Laptop Lunatic Conspiracy Theory. I said this in response:

Generally, advancing a Russian disinformation operation is considered unAmerican. Sad to see you taking such a position.

Several Trump/Grassley supporters took me to task for suggesting the laptop fuss followed the pattern of a classic Russian dezinformatsiya scheme (which it totally does).

— “Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Monday said that Hunter Biden’s laptop “is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign”.”
— our TDS Delusion is blinding you!! Hunter’s ATTORNEY contacted the computer shop, wanting to retrieve his client’s laptop!!! If this laptop has been in FBI custody since Nov. or Dec., 2019, HOW DID RUSSIA GET AHOLD OF IT, OR HAVE ACCESS TO IT??
— YOUR TDS IS IN THE WAY!! THIS LAPTOP, NOW CORROBORATED BY HUNTER’S ATTORNEY, IS LEGIT AND HUNTER HAS A PEDO PROBLEM AS WELL AS LOTS OF MONEY THAT HE AND “POP” HAVEN’T PAID ANY TAXES ON!!
— oh here we go again, everytime a Democrat gets caught dirty the ” Russians” did it, learn a new tune numbskull
— So you think just because the MSM isn’t covering this that it doesn’t exist?? WOW – and you call me stupid and gullible?? It is NOT a LIE, and when Joe-Joe and Hunter go to prison, maybe you’ll believe it then!! The laptop was corroboated by Hunter’s own attorney, plus Hunter’s buddies, Bevan Cooney and Devin Archer, who are both facing prison time for all of these crazy financial deals; they have now turned over 26,000+ e-mails which are also on Hunter’s laptop!! They were in on this; flipped on their buddy as they go to prison, and Hunter gets to be free FOR NOW!! Since Joe-Joe got half of all of the money, just think of all the taxes that Joe-Joe did NOT PAY on all those millions!! Hope the IRS pays him a visit!!
— has nothing to do with the Russians. It is left wing bias by Twitter and Facebook.
— FOX Tucker Carlson verified it today.

Where to start? Maybe with the claim that Hunter Biden’s attorney ‘corroboated’ the idea that the laptop belong to his client. George Mesires, the attorney in question, told the Washington Post, “We have no idea where this came from, and certainly cannot credit anything that Rudy Giuliani provided to the NY Post.” So no, that dog don’t hunt.

What about the suggestion that since the laptop has been in FBI custody since late 2019, there was no way for Russia to “GET AHOLD OF IT“? It would indeed be difficult for Russians (or anybody else) to get access to a hard drive stored in an FBI evidence facility. It would, though, be relatively easy for Russians (or anybody else) to load disinformation onto the drives of three laptops and deliver them to a strip mall computer repair shop in Delaware run by a legally blind Trump supporter and claim they were the property of Hunter Biden (who, by the way, lived in California at the time, which makes it improbable that he’d fly to his daddy’s home state to get his computers repaired). So no, that dog don’t hunt either.

Well, how about the claim that Hunter Biden “HAS A PEDO PROBLEM“? This nasty bit of bullshit was launched by a photo printed in the NY Post article. It shows the front of a subpoena form that doesn’t list a recipient or identify anything the recipient is required to produce. However, there appears to be writing on the back of the form which has bled through to the front (in reverse, of course), and includes a signature that could be that of FBI Special Agent Joshua Wilson, who has worked on child pornography cases. There’s literally nothing on the form to indicate the subpoena was for Hunter Biden, or that it involved a laptop, or that child porn is involved. So no, that dog don’t hunt and is probably asleep on the porch.

One of many dogs that just don’t hunt.

So what about the fact that Tucker Carlson “verified it”? Let’s just remind folks that a federal judge just dismissed a slander lawsuit against Carlson after agreeing with Carlson’s own lawyers that “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statement he makes.” In other words, Carlson’s employer, FOX News, admits that he is full of shit and can’t be relied on as a fact witness. In fact, the Biden laptop ‘scandal’ was so thin that FOX News refused to report it as news. That didn’t stop FOX commentators (like Tucker Carlson) from talking about it incessantly, of course. But it’s worth noting that even Breitbart, a normally reliable engine for lunatic right-wing conspiracy theories, was skeptical about the story. So no, that dog don’t hunt and it may not even be a dog.

DNI John Ratcliffe momentarily not kissing Trump’s pale plump ass.

But hey, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe…what about his claim that the laptop in question “is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign“? If you can’t trust the DNI, then who can you trust? Sadly, you really can’t trust the DNI IF the DNI is John Ratcliffe.

Let’s first acknowledge that Ratcliffe, a notorious Trump ass-kisser, is Trump’s fourth DNI in just under four years. Let’s also acknowledge that the first time Trump nominated Ratcliffe to be DNI (after Trump forced DNI Dan Coats to resign after Coats agreed that Russia implemented a disinformation op to help elect Donald Trump in 2016), the nomination had to be withdrawn because even Trump supporters in the Senate felt Ratcliffe wasn’t qualified and couldn’t be trusted not to politicize intelligence issues. In the interim, there were two other DNIs; Joseph Maguire, who was fired for briefing the House Intelligence Committee that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump and was planning on doing it again in 2020, and Richard Grenell, a Trump supporter without any intelligence experience who also couldn’t be confirmed by the Senate. After Grenell, the Senate confirmed Ratcliffe as DNI on a party line vote (because at that point the GOP had basically given up any hope of checking Trump). Although he’s only been DNI for five months, Ratcliffe has routinely violated norms by mining and declassifying material (mostly dealing with Hunter Biden and Ukraine) that might help Trump’s re-election campaign.

The CIA’s assessment of the laptop ‘scandal’ is that it’s likely a dezinformatsiya operation “probably directed” by Putin and his top aides, implemented by Russian asset Andrii Derkach in Ukraine, with the presumably unwitting assistance of Rudy Giuliani (is Rudy really that stupid? Maybe.). More than fifty former senior intelligence officials–including former Trump administration officials–have signed a letter stating the laptop ‘scandal’ “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” The FBI, which has custody of the laptop hard drive, has reportedly opened an investigation to determine if this is a Russian disinformation operation.

So no, the Ratcliffe dog don’t hunt, and isn’t a dog, or even a mammal. It’s more of a slime mold–a eukaryotic organism not known for hunting.

But I’ve got a shiny new nickle that says during tomorrow night’s debate, Comrade Trump will repeatedly accuse Joe Biden’s son of being corrupt and possibly a pedophile on national television. That in itself is reason enough to vote him out of office.